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UN chief calls for return to Gaza truce

United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon condemned the latest rocket attacks on Israel and called for a return to a ceasefire in Gaza.

UNITED NATIONS, United States: United Nations (UN) chief Ban Ki-moon on Friday (Aug 8) condemned the latest rocket attacks on Israel and called for a return to a ceasefire in Gaza.

The secretary general expressed his "deep disappointment" over the failure to extend the 72-hour truce that expired on Friday (Aug 8) and said peace talks in Cairo should continue.

Ban "condemns the renewed rocket fire towards Israel. More suffering and death of civilians caught up in this conflict is intolerable," said a statement from his spokesman.

"The extension of the ceasefire is absolutely essential for talks to progress."

Ban "firmly" called on the Palestinians and Israel "not to resort to further military action that can only exacerbate the already appalling humanitarian in Gaza."

The violence ended the three-day lull in fighting between Israel and Hamas that, since July 8, has killed at least 1,898 Palestinians and 67 people on the Israeli side.